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Family Health Care Costs Will Top $20,000 A Year For First Time Ever: Study

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Health care costs are due to surpass $20,000 for American families who get health insurance at work, a new study says.
Health care costs are due to surpass $20,000 for American families who get health insurance at work, a new study says.

$20,000: That's what a typical family covered by job-based health insurance will spend on health care this year, according to research by the consulting firm Milliman.

This year is the first time family health care spending is projected to surpass $20,000, said Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson, a spokesman for Milliman. A typical family spent less than half that on health care just 10 years ago, data from Milliman show. Health care costs have increased by 7 percent to 8 percent each year since 2008, CNN reported today.

Milliman's report, due to be published in May, is the latest in a seemingly endless series of studies, surveys and reports pointing out that U.S. health care spending is growing out of control, which won't come as news to people paying for health insurance and medical care. Another recent study projected that health care costs will eat more than half our income by 2037 if the trend isn't slowed.

Health care comprised 17.3 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 2010. Spending growth in health exceeded economic growth by 2.4 percent from 2000 to 2009. One result is that even people who get insurance at work -- which typically is the most comprehensive and most affordable type of coverage -- are feeling the burden more an more.

Between 2007 and 2012, the average amount a worker paid for health insurance at work increased by 40 percent to $2,764, one study showed. What's more, fewer employees are even being offered coverage and those who are have seen premiums rise while deductibles and out-of-pocket costs balloon.

Meanwhile, the ranks of the uninsured continue to grow and the U.S. Census Bureau now says there are almost 50 million people in America who have no health insurance.

Photo by flickr user colindunn

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